Burning Man

Black Rock City, Nv

(Installation Collaboration)

Day Five: Big Planes, Big Questions

“After all the unpacking, building, driving, set-up and general acclimating, in many ways this felt like the first full day at Burning Man, feet underneath firmly on the playa. 

It seems like every trip has this moment, the feeling of finally being where you are and in the same moment recognizing your time there is temporal. It’s the moment of recognizing that the sweet spot just in front of you can be used for something, piles of possibility ready and at the waiting. The moment when we finally have our hands around something as much as we ever could, so now how to make the best of it?

This moment represents potential itself, and much like standing in front of a 747 converted into a slow-rolling dance machine, the potential before us at Burning Man felt huge…

Huge is fun, huge is exciting, huge is what we love so much because who doesn’t like doing things at maximum, really going for it, leaning all the way in? As a good friend once said to me, “If there’s anything we learned from the 80’s it’s how to crank up the volume and rip off the knob!”. We love huge because it’s hugeness usually means we have given a lot of importance to it, worked on it, developed it, gave ourselves to it and guess what, we LOVE getting to do that so much. We love it because we love meaning, we love purpose, we love reasons and even more importantly, we need desperately them. You don’t get excitement and motion and things happening unless you have a reason behind it, a reason orienting the direction you go, the decisions you make, who is involved and how you pull it all off. 

We do this all the time, every second of every day in fact, yet rarely do we pause and think about it. Years ago when I was enduring the minefield of chaos that is junior high we had our ways of thinking about these things. “That was huge bro!”, was heard often as the collective four of us 13-ish year old friends careened through the air on sticker-laden snowboards, launched off of our haphazardly built jumps, narrowly avoiding broken bones, not to mention our dignity.

But why did we do that, let alone our parents allowing us to? Snowboarding was great of course, but really we were a group of misfits trying to find our place in the world, trying to test our limitations and throw ourselves at a challenge together, alongside of each other, next to one another, collectively, as a group… you get the point. We were trying to learn and grow and develop and we needed a “we” to do it. It couldn’t be done alone. 

At this point, you must be wondering where this is going, I might be a little bit myself, so here goes:

Often times what we are doing isn’t actually about what we are doing at all. Oftentimes we are deciding to do things big enough, huge enough, perhaps bigger-than-ourselves enough that it would bring more people together in order to pull it off, and, crazy idea… it would be good for everyone involved while doing it.

Well that’s pretty straight forward and easy to say, but how do we actually do that, and not just today, but tomorrow and next week and into the future? Before we can even attempt to figure that out we have to think about what would be good enough to give ourselves to, to make HUGE in ourselves? If it’s going to be a lot of work, messy and complicated just like almost everything worth doing is, then the outcome better be stellar, the juice better be worth the squeeze. If it isn’t, then what are we even doing?

We could write a book on this stuff, and there are already thousands. What is of enough worth, enough value to give ourselves to that also brings us together enough to actually do it? At the very least it is worth asking these questions and seeing what happens. We might just find some direction. 

With that being said, it’s pretty nice to have your day (and odd thoughts) interrupted by a 747 in the desert. If you find yourself actually asking these questions (to yourself and) to people you listen to, we’d love to hear what you find out. Let us know in the form/message/thing below.” - Zach

what you and others call you (your name) *
what you and others call you (your name)